Litchfield National Park
Distance Travelled - 66 km
Woke up in time to see the last of the sunrise and got out of bed. Started to sort things out to dry after a night of heavy dew. Eventually had breakfast, packed and left the tourist park by just after 9 am.
Started heading into the park and came across more of the termite mounds I have been seeing along the edges of the roads. The majority of the ones I have seen so far have been on the small side where as these ones were quite large - up to 5 m tall.
After the termite mounds I headed to Florence Falls, a quite picturesque waterfall and swimming spot. Spent a fair bit of time here waiting to try and get a shot of the falls without people in it, quite a task. After just over an hour I succeeded and then went and had a swim which was very refreshing.
The next set of falls were called Tolmer falls and whilst impressive these were just viewing falls and not particularly well set up for photography. Moved on to Wangi Falls which was very impressive. There was a reasonable volume of water coming over one section and a lesser volume over the other. The waterhole at the bottom was very clear and you could see fish swimming around. Apparently they close the pool for swimming in the wet season because when it is in flood salt water crocs come in and the current also becomes very strong - both making swimming dangerous.
Spent a fair bit of time swimming and taking photographs before going to the nearby campsite to set up. Went back to the falls for the sunset and took a few photos. Came back and had tea in still very warm conditions and with lots of mosquitoes for company, even well after dark. I will have another quick dip before bed as it is so warm and muggy and try to cool off before going into the tent.
Tomorrow I will do the other park of the park and then head towards Darwin. It will depend on how long it takes to do the rest of the park as to whether I get to Darwin tomorrow or the next day.
Day 53 - 4th June
Litchfield National Park to Darwin
Distance Travelled - 335. 8 km
Woke up and spent about 15 minutes with my eyes closed listening to the birds singing to greet the rising sun. Eventually opened my eyes and instantly wished I hadn't. After a careful count, I numbered at least 70 mosquitoes between the mesh of the tent and the fly covering it. Stayed in bed for a while longer hoping they would leave but no luck so got up and walked to the falls and back to stretch the legs.
Came back and began to pack, opening the car door. releasing another swarm of mossies that had entered during my forays into the car last night to write the blog etc. Left the campsite before 8.30 am and headed towards the Cascades. Did the small walk (700 m) into the Cascades which was not overly impressive given the last 2 days but still looked pretty. Scrambled over a few rocks, past a snake slithering its way into a rock crack away from me, and saw a better set of falls. Took some photos and went back towards the car park. Did the longer walk (1.7 km) to the Upper Cascades, equally unimpressive and then followed the sign to Curtain Falls - an extra 200 m downstream. Got to Curtain Falls only to discover it was the same falls that I had got to from the Lower Cascades earlier. Took the short route back to the car park and headed off.
Walker creek was pretty much a non event and then I went to the Bamboo Creek Tin Mine ruins. This was a thriving tin mine for a couple of miners up until the 1950's and is semi preserved here for people to look at, quite interesting reading the signage about the why's, wherefore's and how's of the mine-site.
Left the ruins and headed out of the park and on towards Darwin. The road to Cox Peninsula took me to Hagait Beach and near one of the 5 Northern Territory Lighthouses but unfortunately it is inside a government communications area and access is not allowed. So I drove the 60 km back to the turnoff, visiting the sight of a WW2 plane wreck. There is still a reasonable amount of wreckage that has not been taken and several sets of signage detailing the circumstances of the disaster, all of the 6 six crew who were killed and what the various pieces of wreckage are and what part of the plane they were.
Continued into Darwin to find that the only other mainland based lighthouse is on a naval base that is also highly restricted and unable to be accessed. So there will be no N.T. lighthouses photographed on my travels. Finally found a caravan park at a near reasonable price ($25 per night for un-powered - still a rip off but not as bad as compared to the $46 and $40 per night for un-powered I was quoted at other caravan parks) and set up for the night. Tomorrow I will head out to Kakadu for a few days before heading back almost to Tennant Creek to the Barkley Highway which will take me into Queensland.